Former Miss America may challenge McConnell
May 22nd, 2013
01:26 PM ET
11 months ago

Former Miss America may challenge McConnell

(CNN) – Ashley Judd is out, but Democrats in Kentucky may have another star on their Senate ticket in November.

Heather French Henry, who won the Miss America pageant in 1999, said she's considering a bid but hasn't made a final decision quite yet.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, French Henry said Tuesday she was "not ready to confirm or deny" that she was considering a run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"I am completely honored that people are talking to me about this but I have made no decision," she said, according to the report.

McConnell isn't up for re-election until November 2014, but the race has drawn early headlines as Democrats consider stepping in. Actress Ashley Judd mulled a bid, eventually deciding against running after attack videos from McConnell started airing.

Privately, some Democrats worried Judd was too liberal a candidate for Kentucky, which hasn't sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1992, when Wendell Ford won re-election.

With Judd out of the race, Democratic eyes turned to Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's Secretary of State. Grimes has not ruled out a bid against McConnell in 2014, and was touted as a top potential candidate during a conference call with Democratic officials earlier this year.

In addition to considering her own bid, French Henry is open to supporting Grimes, according to the Herald-Leader.

On her official website, French Henry is listed as a veterans advocate, author/illustrator, artist/fashion illustrator, fashion designer, and public speaker. Her biography notes she received a bachelor's and master's degree in Fashion Design from the University of Cincinnati.

Her year as Miss America was spent advocating for veterans' issues around the country, including lobbying Congress to pass the Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Act.

She's married to Steve Henry, the former lieutenant governor of Kentucky, who himself ran for U.S. Senate in 1998. He was embroiled in numerous controversies during his tenure, including using state employees to work at his wedding, and spending state funds to travel to the Miss America pageant.

In 2003, French Henry struck and killed a bicyclist who was crossing the street outside of a sidewalk. Criminal charges were not filed, and French Henry later recounted the accident and spoke of her lingering guilt during an appearance on Oprah.


Filed under: Kentucky • Mitch McConnell
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Republicans rule Obama

    Just what we need a clueless former beauty queen, MConnell is goos as reenlected.

    May 22, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Sen. McConnell is a disgrace to the Senate. He's on record saying that we should make the president a one term president, which to me seems like an overt violation of his oath of office.

    May 22, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Too much baggage surrounding her husband. McConnell's campaign will jump on that like a dog in heat. Just look at the mud slinging they were throwing at Ashley Judd and she wasn't even in the race. He's pissing his pants because he knows his seat is up for grabs and he'll very likely lose. You're on the way out the door Mitch.

    May 22, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. just sayin

    Her year as Miss America was spent advocating for veterans' issues around the country, including lobbying Congress to pass the Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Act.
    -–
    no narcisism here at all is there?!! yeah, let's name the bill about me, me, me.

    She's married to Steve Henry, the former lieutenant governor of Kentucky, who himself ran for U.S. Senate in 1998. He was embroiled in numerous controversies during his tenure, including using state employees to work at his wedding, and spending state funds to travel to the Miss America pageant.
    --

    oh great, another corrupt democrat and you can be sure he will be calling the shots for his barbie doll wife.

    May 22, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. Tony

    Republicans think they rule Obama, except that they keep on losing elections to him.

    May 22, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    ANY warm body that is moderate can beat McConnell at this point in time. The dems are putting fake names out there to force him to spend all his negative ad money now. ha ha ha h aha ha ha ha

    May 22, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    Republicans rule Obama

    Just what we need a clueless former beauty queen

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, we sure dodged a bullet in November 2008!

    May 22, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    She's better qualified than Sarah Palin, both a bachelor's and a master's.

    May 22, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. PaulCat

    I think Congress has earned their $200,000 paycheck for the year.

    It's now time for another vacation.

    May 22, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. Rob

    I would not say she is clueless. She has higher education, regardless if it's in fashion, which requires mental capacity many people don't have. She has also been in political endeavors by lobbying congress for veterans. What I would see as negative aspect to her requirements is not working in government and jumping straight into the senate. That still does not make her clueless to what is going on with this country and overseas.

    May 22, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    She's better qualified than Sarah Palin, both a bachelor's and a master's.
    --------
    Oh yeah... 'Her biography notes she received a bachelor's and master's degree in Fashion Design from the University of Cincinnati.". So if we're electing her to come up with prom dresses, then yes... she's more qualified than Sarah Palin.

    May 22, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. mw

    Finally, World Peace....

    May 22, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. ST

    Where can we start digging political grave for McConnell? No one should under-estimate the comparison between the old blood and the new one. When the time is ripe and you put them together, for sure this woman will send the old man back where he came from.

    May 22, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Evergreen

    Congress is in need of creative thinking in order to tackle 21st century challenges. Unfortunantely they are stuck on stupid.

    May 22, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Ol' Yeller

    @justsayin your love affair with the republican party and fox news just shines off your posts like moomlight off a sewer lagoon. Your boyfriend mcconnell sure is sweating bullets at these feints the Dems are throwing. Can't wait until they announce the real candidate to take out this crook. That is, if he doesn't end up get primaried by some further right tea bagger, like Luger did.

    May 22, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Good, time for some new blood. Kick out the cript keeper and mummy mc connell and the other dead wood frankinscott from Florida and put some live people in office . Gop out in the mid terms .

    May 22, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    -just sayin

    Her year as Miss America was spent advocating for veterans' issues around the country, including lobbying Congress to pass the Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Act.
    -–
    no narcisism here at all is there?!! yeah, let's name the bill about me, me, me.

    She's married to Steve Henry, the former lieutenant governor of Kentucky, who himself ran for U.S. Senate in 1998. He was embroiled in numerous controversies during his tenure, including using state employees to work at his wedding, and spending state funds to travel to the Miss America pageant.

    oh great, another corrupt democrat and you can be sure he will be calling the shots for his barbie doll wife.
    **********************************
    So, you would prefer the man who has been in the Senate since the first Reagan administration over someone who, had she been a Republican, you would be defending to your last dying breath instead of engaging in your usual rounds of condescending, sexist comments? I recall you extolling the virtues(?) of Caribou Barbie in the past: I would take someone with 2 degrees in fashion design over the dunce who went to 5 different schools before becoming the weather girl at a TV station in Alaska. At least she did something for people who actually need help, and the fact that the bill was named after her during a period when the GOP ran the Senate tells me she probably got them to listen: maybe she can do a better job than Senator Beaker, who's only talent is delay, delay, investigate, and delay.

    May 22, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. just askin

    yikes... a former beuaty queen with bs and masters (who knew!) in fashion design is the only person the dems can dig up to run against mcconnell?!! you have got to be kidding right?! too funny... and just when you thought the democrats couldn't get any more desperate than weiner running for mayor in nyc. talk about a pathetically weak bench.

    May 22, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. Wake up People!

    Ok everyone here knows I cannot stand Mitch McConnell.....

    That said.....
    What exactly are her qualifications???
    A Masters in Fashion??? Really.

    Mitch and Klan are going to have her for Sunday dinner.......

    May 22, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    -Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    She's better qualified than Sarah Palin, both a bachelor's and a master's.
    --–
    Oh yeah... 'Her biography notes she received a bachelor's and master's degree in Fashion Design from the University of Cincinnati.". So if we're electing her to come up with prom dresses, then yes... she's more qualified than Sarah Palin.
    ***************
    Strange, I never thought you could be guilty of misogyny.

    May 22, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. you know it will happen

    If she is a former beauty queen than you know she must have modelled and if she modelled you know there must be pictures of her totally nude out there. Go for it sweety and after you lose you can make a million posing for Playboy.

    May 22, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. California Gary

    Well Ms. Henry, get ready for the McConnell mud machine to focus on you. Just saying you are thinking about running is enough to get them worked up. Whether it is ultimately you, or someone else, this man must be defeated in 2014. He is an embarrassment and not worthy of holding such a powerful seat in the senate.

    May 22, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    -just askin

    yikes... a former beuaty queen with bs and masters (who knew!) in fashion design is the only person the dems can dig up to run against mcconnell?!! you have got to be kidding right?! too funny... and just when you thought the democrats couldn't get any more desperate than weiner running for mayor in nyc. talk about a pathetically weak bench.
    ***********
    Coming on the heels of the Mark Sanford debacle and putting Sarah Palin on a national ticket 4 years ago( not to mention the Delaware Witch lady, Sharon Angle, et all), the GOP are the LAST people who ought to be laughing at Democratic candidates. Weiner will lose, and this lady has already indicated she will support whomever the nominee is. However, your blinkered vision never ceases to amuse.

    May 22, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    The Real Tom Paine

    -Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    She's better qualified than Sarah Palin, both a bachelor's and a master's.
    ––
    Oh yeah... 'Her biography notes she received a bachelor's and master's degree in Fashion Design from the University of Cincinnati.". So if we're electing her to come up with prom dresses, then yes... she's more qualified than Sarah Palin.
    ***************
    Strange, I never thought you could be guilty of misogyny.
    --------
    Misogyny? Really, Tom? My comment would have been exactly the same had it been a male with a masters in fashon design. You're better than this, Tom....

    May 22, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. Thomas

    Out with the old , in with the NEW !

    All The Way Baby !

    May 22, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
1 2